Barack Obama is an unapologetic cinephile who loves foreign films, documentaries and musicals. The former president, as has been his wont in recent years, shared his list of favorite movies from 2021 on social media — he’s already listed the books he enjoyed and will shortly reveal some musical highlights.
The film list includes Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story,” Rebecca Hall’s “Passing,” Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog,” Joel Coen’s “The Tragedy of MacBeth” and Mike Mills’ “C’mon, C’mon,” all of which are expected to be major Oscars contenders. It also includes “Judas and the Black Messiah,” which won an Oscar for best supporting actor and best song this spring, but technically hit theaters in February (the deadline for eligibility was extended as a COVID concession).
Obama also ventured further afield. “Pig,” an off-beat revenge fable with a career-best performance from Nicolas Cage, made the cut, as did “Old Henry,” a low-budget Western with Tim Blake Nelson that has been criminally under-seen, and Paul Schrader’s edgy character study “The Card Counter.” Ridley Scott’s “The Last Duel,” a historical epic that bombed at the box office, is listed, but not “House of Gucci,” another film from the director that scored with audiences.
“Each of these films tells a powerful story, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did,” Obama wrote on social media.
Obama selected a number of notable foreign-language titles, including Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Drive My Car,” a Japanese film about a widowed actor and the bond he strikes up with his chauffeur, as well as Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier’s “The Worst Person in the World” and Jasmila Žbanić’s “Quo Vadis, Aida,” a 2020 Bosnian war film.
The 42nd president didn’t seem to go in for more commercial fare. No Marvel movies or “Fast and Furious” sequels made the grade.
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